Ugh, Grimm

Nov. 30th, 2014 07:05 pm

TW:  RAPE

I've been pissed off about this for months, to the point where I refused to watch the first five episodes of the new season until just last week.  Sadly, they handled said episodes nearly as badly as I expected them to.

Spoilers.

Read more... )

TRIGGER WARNING - RAPE, INCEST, MISOGYNY, AND ALL OTHER ISSUES ABORTION-RELATED

After seeing some anti-woman protestors on my former college campus today, seeing them use Nazi imagery and pictures of Pol Pot's Killing Fields to make their disgusting "point," I felt the need to express my rage with the following reasons why I'm Pro-Choice.

1) It's not my business what anyone else does with their body.
2) It's not anyone's business what I do with my body.
3) Savita Halappanavar of Ireland.
4) Beatriz of El Salvador - you can still speak for her.
5) Every woman who has ever died because of a "back alley" abortion.
6) The evidence supporting the idea that the crime rate drops when abortion is legal because wanted children are less likely to grow up in circumstances that lead them to become criminals.
7) Forcing a rape or incest survivor to carry her rapist's baby to term is a way of raping her all over again.
8) In 31 U.S. states, it is legal for a rapist to sue for visitation rights and/or custody of the child he fathered during the rape.  This is horrific on many levels, as it forces the woman to continue to have contact with the person who attacked her, which can be used as a way to leverage her into not pressing charges.  There's also the added horror of a convicted rapist being permitted to have a hand in raising the child to whom he donated genetic material during the attack.
9) The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads as follows:
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Forcing a woman to carry a baby to term against her will is involuntary servitude and violates the very Constitution that most conservative assholes seem to worship. Women are human beings, not the property of the state.  Giving women control over their reproductive choices is a form of empowerment.  Conversely, taking away those choices turns women into second-class citizens.
10) Forcing a woman to complete a pregnancy risks her life.  Not to mention that outlawing abortion risks the lives of women who have wanted pregnancies that are non-viable (see 3 and 4).  To those who want to argue that a woman can give the baby up for adoption, there is a lot of evidence that it is more psychologically damaging to give up a baby after giving birth to it than having an abortion.  Yes, a lot of people want to adopt, but that doesn't mean that a pregnant woman should act as their handmaid unless it is 100% HER CHOICE to do so.

Having given the reasons I'm pro-choice, I'd now like to address the arguments against my feelings.

I thought about getting into the philosophical debate of whether or not a fetus is "alive" or should be considered a person, but I realized that it doesn't matter if the fetus is a person.  The woman was here first.  The rights of the born must outweigh the rights of the unborn, otherwise a woman is no longer legally a person the moment the sperm hits the egg.

When does the fetus start to have rights?  A lot of people say, "In the third trimester, once it's theoretically possible for it to survive outside the womb."  Let's examine that.  Under what circumstances would a woman carry a fetus for twenty-eight weeks and then decide she doesn't want it inside of her anymore?  I can't imagine a circumstance, but if a woman is in that position, I don't think that the state has a right to block her.  Do I find the idea of aborting a nearly full-term or full-term fetus horrifying?  Fuck yes! But I believe that the circumstances under which that would be necessary are so rare that they shouldn't even be included in any arguments against abortion.

What about gendercide, i.e. abortion of a female fetus because the parents want a male?  Fix society so that women are considered equal to men, don't deny a woman her right to choose.

Abortion as birth control?  If someone wants to go through the pain of multiple abortions rather than taking birth control, it's their body, their choice.  Especially since birth control, even multiple forms used in conjunction, can fail.  That and, like it or not, abortion IS a form of birth control.

There's also the "one penis, no vote" argument, which I find repugnant simply because NO ONE but the pregnant person gets a vote.  I have a uterus.  Having one doesn't give me more of a right to weigh in on this issue than someone who doesn't have one.

And now we've come to men's rights.  If you are a man and choose to have sex with a woman, you accept that whatever she decides to do after you put her penis close enough to her for your semen to get inside of her is her decision.  You accept child support.  You accept that she may abort a fetus that carries your genetic material.  You accept that it is her body and her decision as to whether she's going to risk her life to bring your child into the world.  If you don't think that's fair, don't have sex.  ANY sex, not merely protected sex.  Even if the woman stops taking her pills or pokes holes in the condoms, you're still choosing to have sex with her.

Which brings me to woman rapists.  They exist and I believe they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  That said, while I don't feel that you should have to pay child support if a woman rapes you, nor do you have the right to force her to have an abortion.  It's still her body in which the fetus is growing.  Is that "fair" when we chemically castrate some pedophiles and rapists?   Is it "fair" for a man to have that genetic link to a child that was conceived against his will?  No, but it's the woman's body in which said child grows, so sorry men, no forced abortions OR forced births, no matter what the circumstances.

Essentially, I'm pro-choice under all circumstances, with NO EXCEPTIONS.  Go ahead, come up with a scenario in which you think that abortion shouldn't be allowed and I'll tell you my reasoning for why it should be permitted.  I'll give you a hint: they're ALL going to start with, "It's not my business, nor is it yours." 
This is your trigger warning.

Scroll fast if you need to because I'm not cutting this.

Before this case came about, I'd heard of Steubenville from a lovely older couple (the Enditches from Steubenville, which is how I remember) on a bus tour I took roughly twenty-two years ago.

I didn't know about the football program there or how it was basically the only thing that held the town together.  However, when I heard it, it didn't surprise me because of how utterly beyond the pale OSU fans are.  They riot sometimes when they WIN, :/.

For those of you who are either not in the U.S. or who have been living under a large boulder for the last few months, a young woman of sixteen got drunk at a party last August and was dragged, semi-conscious and unconscious to several locations, where she was sexually assaulted multiple times.  She didn't know she'd been attacked until the next day, when she discovered multiple text posts, pictures, and videos about/of the assaults had been posted online.

Sunday, two football players, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, were convicted of "digitally penetrating" her. There were at least two dozen other witnesses/possible assailants, but these two were (in my opinion) the sacrificial lambs.  I wonder how good they were on the team?  I wonder how many more players/bystanders actually assaulted this young woman?  These two young men were convicted in juvenile court despite their ages (seventeen and sixteen, which in a lot of cases would have them tried as adults), which means that once they're over twenty-one, their records could be swept clean.  Yes, they have to register as "juvenile sex offenders" and yes, their pictures have been plastered all over the media, (we'll be talking more about the media in a moment), which will hopefully help to save future victims, but they still won't have ADULT criminal records.  This still won't necessarily ruin their lives forever in the same way it's affected the life of their victim, who has been shamed in court and received death threats from two other young women via social media sites.  Ohio's Attorney General is charging those who made the latest threats, but where are the charges against all of those who watched this young women be raped?  Not only that, but made videos in which they were laughing about her being raped.

To be clear, I think that this young woman can overcome this, but she might not.  She might not be able to come back from what they did to her.  Her life might spiral out of control because of the control that was stolen from her that night.  She's a survivor either way, but whether this rules her life forever or she's able to put it behind her, the fault still lies with those who, according to the prosecution, "treated her like a toy."

Where is the outrage?  Oh, that's right.  It's being directed towards the RAPISTS, in that media outlets like CNN think it's a shame that their lives were ruined by all of this. (Here's a petition you can sign to tell them what you think of their coverage of this issue.)  And the fucking Onion predicted all of this two years ago.

So what am I taking away from all of this?  I'm not a person once I get drunk.  Hell, I'm not a person if I'm out after dark alone or forget to lock my door or to set my alarm or am not careful enough with my surroundings or wear pants that are "too tight," a skirt that is "too short," or a burqa that shows "too much ankle."  You see where I'm going with this, right?

We teach men that women are "asking for it."  We teach them that they aren't responsible for their actions and that their "innocent lives" could be ruined by "giving in" to a girl who was too drunk to say no.  We shame rape victims so much that someone made a video called, "Shit Everyone Says To Rape Victims," and I'd heard them all before.

Our society doesn't teach men not to rape. Look at what happened to the woman who dared to suggest that we do so on Fox News - she was vilified and got both rape and death threats. Bullying is a part of it - men are bullied by their peers into going along with behavior that makes them seem "manly" to said peers. Even now, we're telling them to "man up," as though being a man is automatically strong and capable.


However, young men are also bullied by their fathers who bullied them, "Don't be a [misogynistic slur]" if they dare to express their emotions. They are bullied by a society that tells them that they aren't "real men" unless they attract as many women as possible, by any means possible. This is not peer-on-peer bullying. This is bullying at every level, from every angle, every day from the moment these young men are born.


If this is not 100% clear - I'm not excusing their actions, but until the rape culture stops telling women how they can avoid rape instead of telling men not to rape, cases like this will continue to happen.  People are starting to think this way (in Vancouver, an ad campaign entitled "Don't Be That Guy" has helped to reduce sexual assaults there by 10%), but the process is entirely too slow.   Also, the myth of the stranger attack needs to go away. Most women are raped by men they know. The Steubenville survivor even testified that she "thought she could trust" one of her rapists and didn't realize that she couldn't until she saw all of the social media about her attack the next day.

Can you imagine that?  Finding out you were raped (and that multiple bystanders, many of whom were your classmates, stood around ENJOYING your rape as though it was entertainment) via fucking Facebook and Twitter?  Can you imagine having two supposed friends of yours call you a liar and end your friendship because they wanted you to leave the party and you didn't do so, ergo what happened to you was your fault?

I've spoken about this before, but seeing what this sixteen-year-old woman is having to go through, with 18,000 townspeople she's known all her life and thousands more strangers online all acting as though this situation came about because she was drunk and not because those young men are fucking rapists, is making me sick on a level I can't begin to express.

She deserves better.  She deserves to be believed, to be supported, to be cared for, and, above all, to be told it was NOT HER FAULT!  But we don't do that in this country, or apparently any other, if Steig Larson and recent reports out of India are accurate, which I'm certain they are.  And those are only two examples - if anyone knows of a country/culture where rape is considered SOLELY the fault of the rapist, I would certainly love to hear about it, as I could use some good news on this front today.

The worst part - everything I've linked here is the barest tip of an iceberg so huge it could sink a million Titanics.  I could find dozens more links, all telling me that in the eyes of the world, my bodily autonomy is subject to the whims of others.

Society doesn't see me as a person.  I'm going to fight to change that.


ETA: Henry Rollins' commentary is rather similar to mine.
WARNING for victim blaming, slut shaming, and generally horrible things that people say.  I know because I've heard every.  Single. ONE OF THEM!

Video under the cut. )

PS - the video itself is positive in that it's shining a light on the horrible things that people say to survivors.  It's the fact that it could be made that's making me so very angry at the world today.
I generally don't do book reviews - the "book review" tag was created for this entry - but in this case I'm making an exception.  Also, you'll notice that this is not so much a review as a comment on the reflections on society that this book has provoked within me. 


Trigger warnings for references to things that happen to women every moment of every day.  )

If you consider yourself a feminist, whether you are male or female, I highly recommend "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo."  Not only is it a wonderful murder mystery, but it may provoke deep thoughts as it has for me, :).

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